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'US should reduce military aid to Egypt', report says

US President Donald Trump meets Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (L) at the White House in Washington, United States on 3 April 2017. [Presidency of Egypt / Handout - Anadolu Agency]
US President Donald Trump meets Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (L) at the White House in Washington, United States on 3 April 2017. [Presidency of Egypt / Handout - Anadolu Agency]

A report published by two research centres in Washington called on the US to cut military aid to Egypt and stop overlooking the human rights violations committed by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

The report, published by Middle East Eye, indicated that the unconditional support provided by Washington to Egypt has prompted the country's leaders to abuse their powers, reported Al Jazeera Net.

According to the publication, which was prepared by Seth Binder from Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) and William D. Hartung from the Centre for International Policy (CIP), Al-Sisi expects to continue receiving significant payments in military aid from the US, even though "instead of using the assistance to develop the military's capabilities and advance shared national security interests, the Egyptian government has misused the aid for patronage and prestige."

It called for cutting the $1.3 billion annual aid package to Egypt by $300 million and redirecting the funds to humanitarian projects, as well as supporting international efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

READ: Egypt government exploits coronavirus spread to expand Sisi's power 

The report also demanded more transparency regarding aid distribution, while stressing the need to reconsider this assistance, and under what conditions that aid should be provided, in case Cairo continues practices that flagrantly violate human rights.

Since his rise to power following the 2013 bloody military coup, Al-Sisi has sought to eliminate political opposition.

"Sisi's regime has engaged in a systematic pattern of gross human rights violations, from gunning down peaceful protesters in the streets to jailing tens of thousands of political opponents, including journalists, academics, and human rights defenders," the report's authors wrote.

Though Egypt has been resorting to contracts with Russia and France for its arms in recent years, the publication added, after years of dependence on American arsenal it would be difficult to operate the new systems without US support,which "leaves the United States with significant leverage over the Egyptians".

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AfricaAsia & AmericasEgyptNewsUS
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